Great Ireland Run: Athletics Ireland apologises as Phoenix Park 10k accidentally becomes an 8.5k

Results declared null and void after participants misdirected over the course and ended up some 1.5km short of the distance

Athletics Ireland has issued an apology after runners in Sunday’s Great Ireland 10km Run were misdirected over the course of the race and ended up finishing some 1.5km short of the distance.

Staged over an often-used route in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, the event attracted over 2,000 entries, at a cost of €30, hosted by Dublin City Harriers. As in recent years it also incorporated the Athletics Ireland National 10km road race championships, only given the misdirection all results will be declared null and void. There was no prize-giving afterwards.

The problem arose around the 3km mark, when the runners were misdirected and with that missed out on another of the smaller 1.5km laps. As the race progressed from there it was evident they were running short, only it was clearly too late to turn back.

In the statement, Athletics Ireland said they would be engaging with Dublin City Harriers to understand how the situation arose.


“Athletics Ireland and the event organiser Dublin City Harriers wish to apologise to all participants for the unforeseen circumstances that led to today’s Great Ireland Run (incorporating the national 10k championship) being less than the specified distance.

“Athletics Ireland will continue to engage with the race organisers on the matter and update national 10k championship participants when further information becomes available.”

The event, which had a 10am start and went off in three waves, at three-minute intervals, also had several of the top clubs in Ireland racing for the National 10km team title.

It was clear once the lead runners reached the finish that something had gone embarrassingly wrong as Jake O’Regan from St John’s AC was the first man home in 26 minutes and eight seconds, which would have smashed the World 10km road record of 26:42 set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto last year. O’Regan, however, had only raced around 8.5km.

Likewise with the first woman home, Karen Blaney from Navan AC, who finished in 29:12, a time which also would have improved the World 10km road record of 29:14.

It remains to be seen if Athletics Ireland will be issuing any part or full refunds.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics